Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday accidentally referred to the invasion of Iraq executed while he was in office during a speech about Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
The 75-year-old corrected himself after calling the occupation of Iraq “wholly unjustified and brutal” during an event at Southern Methodist University’s George W. Bush Institute.
“Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from the electoral process,” he said during his speech at the event that focused primarily on the subject of election integrity. “The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.”
He then quickly correcting himself, saying, “I mean of the Ukraine, heh.”
“Iraq too,” he then said. “Anyway … uh … 75,” he concluded, making reference to his age.
Bush infamously guided the U.S. military into an invasion of Iraq in 2003 based on faulty information that the country was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. The invasion ultimately led to the deaths of more than 250,000 people, including close to 5,000 U.S. troops.
Last week, Bush called Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky “the Winston Churchill of our time” following a call he had with the foreign leader.
“I thanked the president for his leadership, his example and his commitment to liberty, and I saluted the courage of the Ukrainian people. President Zelensky assured me that they will not waiver in their fight against Putin’s barbarism and thuggery,” wrote Bush in the caption of an Instagram post that he tagged at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas.